The Next Step program gets this stroke victim back on his feet.
After Charley Wilson had a stroke on July 7, 2007, he spent three weeks in inpatient therapy at Baptist. He continued therapy as an outpatient after that, but when the Next Step program became available, Charley was a perfect candidate.
Next Step was conceived for patients like Charley — those who have completed inpatient therapy, but need something more than traditional outpatient therapy to get back to their normal lives.
Charley joined Next Step in January 2008, where he was around other stroke victims and people of all ages who had suffered major neurological trauma. "I really enjoyed being around the other people in Next Step," said Charley. "We did things like work on the computer, go fishing, go to the store. I was even able to help a couple of other patients who were having trouble communicating because of speech problems."
The staff at Baptist encourages patients toward independence, and Charley feels like being a part of Next Step helped him progress. "The program helped me get around by myself more. I was four days into a new job when I had my stroke, and I hope to get back to work soon."
One of the therapists at Baptist connected Charley with someone who builds handicapped-accessible decks, so he can go outside and enjoy the fresh air. He is even able to walk now, though he still must be careful. But seeing other patients in Next Step gave him valuable perspective:
"When you see other people's situations, you realize how good you have it. The staff has a positive attitude, which helps you keep a positive attitude, and that's a big part of the progress we make."
"I can wear any shoes I want" after physical therapy treatment for lymphedema at Baptist Medical Group-Outpatient Care Center.
Susan Toombs remembers a time when her ankles were so swollen she couldn't wear regular shoes. "The only shoes that fit were Crocs," she says.
But after outpatient treatment at Baptist, she's delighted to be back to her normal footwear and a more normal life.
About 18 months before her physical therapy treatment, Susan fell in her front yard and twisted her ankle. After swelling persisted for a time, she was finally diagnosed with lymphedema— the accumulation of extra fluid in parts of the body. She felt it was something she might have to live with, until her doctor referred her to Baptist.
"I met my therapist, Sandy, and she was so encouraging," Susan says.
Sandy worked with Susan for about eight sessions, helping her regain flexibility and range of motion. After just two sessions, Susan says she could already tell a difference.
"Sandy really knew what she was doing," says Susan. "On a scale of one to 10, I'd give her a 10 for sure. She told me she'd take care of me and she truly did."
In addition to providing physical care, Sandy helped Susan remain positive and upbeat, an important component in rehabilitation.
Susan's care didn't end with the completion of her outpatient course of treatment. She was given instructions on self-care, so the swelling would not return.
"I finally have relief," she says. "And I can wear any shoes I want."